A Free-Market Energy Blog


Posts from December 0

Climate Policy Implications of the Hiatus in Global Warming

By Ross McKitrick -- October 10, 2014

“Since economic models are trained to match climate models, if climate models overstate the effect of CO2 emissions, economic models will overstate the social damages associated with them. “

The fact that CO2 emissions lead to changes in the atmospheric carbon concentration is not controversial. Nor is the fact that CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) absorb infrared energy in the atmosphere and contribute to the overall greenhouse effect.

Increases in CO2 levels are therefore expected to lead to atmospheric warming, and this is the basis for the current push to enact policies to reduce GHG emissions. For more than 25 years, climate models have reported a wide span of estimates of the sensitivity of the climate to CO2 emissions, ranging from relatively benign to potentially catastrophic, reflecting a wide range of assumptions about how the climate system may or may not amplify the effects of GHG emissions.

Conflict Resolution in Climate Science: Should the IPCC Be Disbanded? (Some thoughts from an outsider)

By Ross McKitrick -- February 23, 2011

Editor Note: This paper was prepared for the “Reconciliation in the Climate Change Debate” workshop held by the Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen, European Commission in Lisbon, Portugal (January 26—28, 2011).

I am an “outsider” to the field of climatology in two respects: by professional training I am an economist, and as regards my research I am in dispute with proponents of some elements of what is commonly called the “consensus” scientific position.1

With regards to my economics background, I note that economists routinely undertake scientific research on matters of acute political controversy, yet the field remains generally congenial and productive; whereas the policy controversies connected to climate research have resulted in seriously disrupted and damaged collegiality in climatology. Why the difference between the two fields? I suggest attention be paid to two reasons: the habit on the part of climate and meteorological societies to issue “expert statements” on behalf of members, and the role of the IPCC.…